Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a term that is commonly mentioned about when people have pain in their wrists. Exactly what is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
First of all, where is your carpal tunnel? It is located in your wrist or the base of your hand and it is a narrow tunnel containing ligaments, bones and specifically the median nerve. The median nerve is important for bending the fingers, specifically the thumb, index, middle and ring finger. The median nerve does sensory innervation in the hand as well. Now that we know where it is in your body and what runs through it, we are able to understand the symptoms that occurs when someone has Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
This condition happens when the surface area has been decreased which results in the compression of the median nerve. Symptoms include tingling or numbness of the fingers, weakness, and pain. As this condition prolongs, the muscles at the base of the thumb begin to waste away and grip strength of the hand decreases significantly. Also, sensation in the fingers or hands can worsen to the point where it can be difficult to determine whether something is hot or cold. How do you know if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? If you are experiencing some or all of the symptoms discussed above then it could be a possibility and making an appointment with a doctor would be the best diagnosis. Your family or chiropractic doctors will do a few examinations to determine the pressure within the carpal tunnel and how much the median nerve is compressed.
There are different forms of treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. There is non-surgical treatment and then there are surgical ones. It is best to check with your doctor to know which treatment is suitable for you. One non-surgical method would be to wear braces or night splints to sleep, this prevents the wrist from bending (flexion) while you sleep in order to relieve some pressure. Another method would be surgery, which widens the carpal tunnel so there is less compression on the median nerve.
Who is at risk for this condition? Everyone can have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but some individuals are more at risk than others. People who have a family history of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, pregnant women, individuals who are always creating repetitive flexing motions on the wrist, and people who have injured their wrists have a higher risk of getting this condition.
Your wrists are very important for hand movement and you use your hands everyday to complete tasks so make sure to stretch and let your wrist rests and they will appreciate it!